vacuums
Expert Score
8.5

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Vacuum Cleaner Review

With great handling, the Cinetic will help you get the ball rolling on your house cleaning

January 08, 2015
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Over the past decade, Dyson has drastically changed how Americans think of vacuum cleaners—in that Americans now actually think about vacuum cleaners. Thanks to the British company's unique products and marketing efforts, customers ask questions about suction and filtration, don't think twice about paying upwards of $500 for a vacuum, and expect a unique design that focuses on features.

The company's latest vacuum—the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal+Allergy (MSRP $699)—is the next logical step for Dyson's bagless upright lineup: bigger and better. The titular Big Ball makes this vacuum three pounds heavier than the Dyson DC65 Animal, but adds stability for maneuvering around corners and furniture without tipping. Combine that with a well-designed brush head, and the Cinetic can easily run circles around most uprights.

Some Dyson vacuums we've tested in the past have exhibited performance that doesn't quite live up to their impressive design and high prices, but this Dyson matches its beauty with brawn. It's not quite the best vacuum we've ever tested, but it does have the best price-to-performance ratio of any Dyson we've tested. As an added bonus, this vacuum comes with every accessory under the sun: From a dedicated mattress tool to a carbon fiber wand, this Dyson packs them all into a carrying bag.

If you're looking for a thoughtfully engineered vacuum cleaner and are willing to pay top dollar, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball is worth checking out. And if you're interested in this model minus its overwhelming arsenal of accessories, you can purchase the Dyson Cinetic Animal for $599.

Handling

Goes around furniture, but not always under it

The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball tips the scales at 19.4 pounds—an intentional heft that Dyson says gives the cleaner better stability. Indeed, it feels a lot lighter when you're cleaning, and the Big Ball and adjustable head let you pivot on a dime. That being said, it's all fairly difficult to haul upstairs, especially since most of its mass is distributed near the floor.

Furniture Clearance
The Dyson Big Ball has trouble doing the vacuum limbo. View Larger

The large ball also makes it difficult for this vacuum to clean under furniture. If you have a sofa that stands four inches off the ground, you'll only be able to reach five inches underneath before the bottom of the sofa obstructs the vacuum head. Even when you boost the clearance up to 12 inches, the Big Ball can only reach in 15 inches.

If you live in an apartment with minimum clutter, this Dyson will suit you well. The long, 35-foot power cord means you can easily cover a 950 square-foot room without the need to replug.

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Accessories

Accessories: All of Them

The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball has all the accessories, and I mean all of them. In the box, we counted a total of eight different attachments. The Tangle-Free Turbine and the Reach Under tool stand out the most. The Tangle-Free Turbine tool gets its name from two counter-rotating brushes that keep it from clogging with hair. The Reach Under tool is a hooked dusting brush that helps you reach under beds and couches.

Accessories
This Dyson has every accessory under the sun. View Larger

In addition to those two, the Big Ball also comes with a Stair tool, a Combination tool, a Multi-angle Brush, a Carbon Fiber Soft Dusting Brush, and an accessory bag to carry them all in.

Capacity
This Dyson has about a one-liter capacity. View Larger

But while the accessories are comprehensive, they're also quite small. The Mattress tool measures the widest amongst them at seven inches. You'll probably be using the Tangle-Free brush the most, but it too is compact–measuring around 5 by 3 inches. That size essentially limits it to cleaning car mats, stairs, and upholstery. Like many Dyson accessories, these feel well-built, but they lack the size to tackle huge tasks.

Cleaning Performance

The best Dyson we've ever tested

The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball's raw test scores were very encouraging. It did very well removing dirt from both high-pile and normal carpet. During our tests on normal carpet, this Dyson picked up 62% of all the dirt we left out for it. On high pile, it sucked up 18%–higher than the 16.2% average of all the vacuums we've tested. Edge cleaning was also superb.

Edge Cleaning
The Big Ball has excellent edge cleaning. View Larger

Its brush head did have trouble with large debris like macaroni and cat hair, leaving behind about a quarter of the macaroni and rice we distributed on the floor for our tests. Because the brush was so low to the ground it had a tendency to push large debris around rather than suck it up. On the plus side, the low profile of the self-adjusting head allows the Big Ball to seamlessly switch from deep carpet to bare floor cleaning.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Conclusion

Among the best

In terms of pure suction, the Big Ball easily ranks within the top five percent of all vacuums we've tested. But how does this Dyson look in context? Two competitive uprights come to mind: the Kenmore 31150 and the Miele S7260.

The Kenmore matches or beats the Dyson in every cleaning performance category, but retails for $279–less than half of what the Dyson costs. But the Big Ball's accessories, handling, and fit and finish far outclass the Kenmore. The Miele, on the other hand, costs $50 more. It has slightly better cleaning performance, but demonstrated superior handling in our tests. So you can pay a little more and get it all, or you can save a lot and get just the cleaning performance.

If you're a fan of Dyson's filterless and bagless system, the Cinetic Big Ball is the bee's knees. If you want a single vacuum to clean your car, bed, and floor of course, the Big Ball has accessories for that. With some focus on cleaning performance, some on handling, and some on features, the outcome is a high-end all 'rounder.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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